Tactically speaking - Manchester City

West Ham United have teamed up with football statistics website WhoScored.com to take a detailed look at Saturday's Barclays Premier League visit of Manchester City.

The Hammers sit fourth and City second ahead of what promises to be a mouth-watering lunch-time kick-off. Here, we break down who the heroes could be.

West Ham United

Width will play a key role in West Ham United's hopes of attacking Manchester City and in Sam Allardyce's favoured 4-3-1-2 formation summer arrival Aaron Cresswell can be crucial once more.

The former Ipswich Town star has adjusted to the rigours of the Barclays Premier League with ease, though the meeting with the defending champions could prove to be his toughest task so far.

A similar performance to the one he put in against Burnley will aid the Hammers in their quest to overcome City in Saturday's early kick-off. Cresswell was the highest rated player (8.78) in the 3-1 victory at Turf Moor last weekend and, as a result, was awarded the WhoScored.com man of the match award and made it into in the European Team of the Week.

Taking into account over 200 live in-play statistics, WhoScored.com calculates a unique rating out of ten to measure each player's performance in a match. Last weekend, Cresswell outperformed all everyone else in his position on the continent and, particularly from an attacking viewpoint, performed exceptionally.

The 24-year-old provided the cross for Diafra Sakho's opening goal - the Senegalese's fifth in five starts - and created more chances than any other player on the pitch.

Cresswell's creative qualities has seen him develop a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'key passes', while 'crossing' is also dubbed 'very strong' by the stats website. A weakness of City's is 'stopping opponents from creating chances', so they will need to close Cresswell down when he gets forward if they are to limit his influence.

If they are unable to do so, the No3 has the quality to trouble a City backline that could be fatigued following a lengthy midweek trip to Russia. With Sakho in rich goalscoring form, and City having kept one clean sheet in their last five games in all competitions, Cresswell could have a big part to play in the final third as West Ham look to maintain their encouraging start to the season.

*WhoScored.com is a website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Follow @WhoScored on Twitter.

Manchester City

The possible line-up


Sagna  Kompany  Demichelis  Clichy

Milner  Fernandinho  Toure  Silva

Aguero  Dzeko

The Formation

In a day and age where three and five-man defences, front-threes and diamond formations are all the rage, Manchester City have played with a refreshingly traditional 4-4-2 system for the majority of the current season.

As has always been the case, the 4-4-2 relies on versatile full-backs, strong centre-backs, all-round central midfielders, creative wide players and a productive forward partnership.

As you would expect of a club which has spent upwards of £500m on new players, City have all of the above at their disposal.

Last weekend, however, Manuel Pellegrini opted for a 4-2-3-1 shape, with David Silva supporting central striker Sergio Aguero. The result was a 4-1 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur and four goals for the Argentine striker.

Whether or not the Chilean manager sticks with that system or reverts back to playing with two centre forwards remains to be seen.

The Playing Style

As you would expect from the champions, Manchester City play an aggressive, powerful, possession-based style of football.

City's top-quality players enjoy 57% of possession on average - second only to Arsenal - and completed an outstanding 86.8% of their passes.

Unsurprisingly, when City have the ball they make good use of it, unleashing a league-best 16 shots per game on the opposition goal, five of which usually either end up in the net or test the goalkeeper.

With potential match-winners all over the pitch, City's attacking style is varied and balanced.

Pellegrini's side can create chances with their short passing game and defence-splitting through balls, while West Ham fans know only too well the sight of central midfielder Yaya Toure rampaging down the middle of the pitch with the ball at his feet.

Meanwhile, the likes of David Silva and Sergio Aguero are adept at using their low centres of gravity and perfectly-honed technical skills to open up space in and around the opposition penalty area.

Add in Edin Dzeko's aerial ability, two attacking full-backs and City's propensity to take one in three shots from outside the penalty area, and you have a team that is extremely difficult to stop.

The Players

Manchester City have a very strong squad, but the below are the most likely starters on Saturday afternoon.

Joe Hart appears to have won the battle to start in goal for now, at least. The England international may make the odd error, but he is a confident figure who makes spectacular saves look routine.

In defence, former Arsenal duo Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy started at full-back against Spurs. Both are experienced campaigners now at 31 and 29 respectively and use the ball intelligently.

At centre-back, Kompany is likely to be partnered by Argentine Martin Demichelis. While the South American has attracted some criticism, he is trusted by his former Malaga manager Pellegrini and has started five of City's opening eight league matches.

With Frank Lampard injured, Yaya Toure is likely to be recalled to the starting XI after arriving from the bench against Spurs. The Ivorian is a strong all-round force, as West Ham fans are no doubt aware. Toure is likely to be partnered by Brazilian defensive midfielder Fernandinho.

Ahead of them, James Milner is a versatile yet talented player who can play anywhere across the midfield. Indeed, the England man's versatility mean he is often under-rated, as he is good in possession, delivers fine set pieces and makes a relentless defensive contribution On the other wing, Jesus Navas is a speedy, old-fashioned winger who loves to hit the byline and cross for his colleagues.

Aguero is at the top of his game up front. With nine goals in eight league appearances, the Argentine is an unerringly accurate finisher with either foot, can beat his man at will and makes chances for his team-mates.